New Crystal Palace signing Yohan Cabaye is aiming to help the Eagles lift some silverware during his time with the club, as well as establish his new side in the top eight of the Premier League.
The French international ended a summer of speculation by signing a three year deal today, with Palace smashing their transfer record in the process to land the sought-after midfielder from Paris St Germain.
Having enjoyed a trophy-laden career during his time with Lille and PSG on the other side of the Channel, the 29-year-old is now eying further cup success in England while wearing the famous red and blue.
Moments after signing his contract, Cabaye said: “I want the team to play well in the Premier League and perhaps win one of the cups as I always play to win trophies. I think we can get in the top eight if we stay confident and start the season well, even though we have some difficult games. We will have to work hard to be ready and compete with the other teams.
“I’m very happy to be here and to work again with the manager. It’s great to be back in the Premier League; the club have given me that opportunity so now I want to do my best to thank them and give my best on the pitch.”
The move sees Cabaye reunited with Alan Pardew whom he played for at Newcastle United between 2011 and 2014, during which time the Magpies reached the dizzy heights of fifth-place in the Premier League and the quarter-final of the Europa League.
The Frenchman admits that with his playing time restricted in Paris, initial contact between Palace and PSG started as soon as Palace had guaranteed their safety last season to suss out whether there was a chance of bringing the 38-time capped international to SE25, and that Pardew was a major factor in helping him make up his mind.
“I first heard of the interest in April so I let my agent work with Palace and PSG,” Cabaye revealed. “The last few days have been long and boring because I have just been waiting but now I’m here and that’s the most important thing.
“I know the manager, I know England and the language and I know the Premier League. Now I’m in London too so that’s good.
“I have worked with him [Pardew] before and I’m confident with him. I just want to do my best for him because he’s made a big effort for me to come here, as well as the chairman so I have to say a big thank you to them.
“He’s a good manager; he is close to the players, talks to you a lot and gives you plenty of confidence. It makes you want to fight for him and do your best for the team.”
Aside from the Pardew-factor, Cabaye also declared that watching the current Eagles squad from afar helped convince him that south London would be the best step for the next phase of his career, also citing the famed backing the team enjoys from the stands, something he has sampled first-hand.
Back in December 2013 he orchestrated Newcastle’s midfield to a 3-0 victory, running the show and scoring the game’s opening goal at the Holmesdale End – something that Palace fans will be hoping becomes a regular sight over the next three years.
He added: “I’ve loved the Premier League for a long time, since I started playing for Newcastle. I’ve watched the games every weekend, including Crystal Palace after January because I was following Alan.
“There are some very good players here. They finished last season very well and I think they can compete to get into the top 10 and maybe even the top eight. That’s why I wanted to come here and play for Palace.
“When I played here before I remember the fans sang all game. The stadium is also a typical English stadium and the fans were really good. I wasn’t used to playing in stadiums in England like that so I was surprised but it was a good surprise. They stayed behind the team even when Newcastle were winning 3-0 so now I can’t wait to play for them and Palace.”
Having been away from English football for the past 18 months, the new Eagle is raring to get back into the swing of things in what will be an important season for him personally as he aims to seal a spot in the French squad for Euro 2016 which takes place in his homeland next summer.
“I don’t think my game has really changed since I was at Newcastle. I love the English rhythm so I won’t need to change the way I play.
“For me personally I just want to play the full season, don’t get injured and stay fit. I also want to play for my country as next summer there are the European Championships and I really want to play in that, especially as it’s in France.”